Jueves, 23 Noviembre, 2017

Retired General: US Military Leaders Would Reject Nuclear First-Strike Orders

Professor Peter Feaver to testify in front of Senate committee regarding nuclear weapons Lawmakers, US allies seek assurance that Trump won't rashly launch nuclear strike
Orlondo Matamoros | Noviembre 15, 2017, 11:06

"We are concerned that the president is so unstable, is so volatile, has a decision-making process that is so quixotic that he might order a nuclear weapons strike that is wildly out of step with US national-security interests", Mr Murphy said in Congress.

Mr Corker, the Tennessee senator who chairs the committee, last month engaged in a Twitter spat with Mr Trump, likening the White House to "an adult day care center". During the Oct. 30 hearing, he pressed Mattis on whether he could contemplate a scenario in which Trump authorized a nuclear strike on a country that didn't first launch a nuclear attack on the United States.

The administration's attempts to assuage the growing concerns underscore the fact that, like his predecessors, Trump has sole authority to decide when and how to use nuclear weapons.

The military continues to argue that with the advent of precision weapons such as cruise missiles and heavy bombers, there is less reason to use nuclear weapons.

When it comes to the use of nuclear weapons, it is not just some academic question, but one with potential real life or death consequences, with Russia, the United States and North Korea.

"The President of the United States is going to make this decision and he's going to make it quite quickly, if he has to", he said.

"Particularly ... people that are isolated from the world, don't get a lot of information, and have never had anyone tell them they're wrong or no", said Florida's Marco Rubio (R).

The potential that Trump could use existing law to authorize the deployment of a nuclear weapon on his own is becoming the subject of frequent conversation - and bipartisan anxiety - on Capitol Hill.

"But it would be too late", he said.

Kehler was testifying alongside other former officials at the first House or Senate Foreign Relations committee hearing on the nuclear command and control structure since 1976.

Sen. Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, said he's been receiving "more and more questions" during town hall meetings with constituents about whether the president can order a nuclear attack without any controls.

"The system is not a button that the president can accidentally lean against on the desk and immediately cause missiles to fly, as some people in the public, I think, fear it would be", said Peter Feaver, a Duke University political science professor.

Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, said Tuesday that he believes President Trump is so unstable he may launch an ill-advised nuclear strike. "It's really the four-stars and the secretary who need to bear that burden".

Mr McKeon, the former Department of Defense official, echoed that view.

Between all three counties, that's more than 1,900 nuclear warheads.

WELNA: Then at the U.N. General Assembly, Trump threatened to, in his words, totally destroy North Korea. The system is built for fast decision-making, not debate.

Kehler served as commander of Strategic Command from January 2011 to November 2013. There is a human element to this. Military officers are duty-bound to execute the order.

"If we saw they were preparing to do so and it was imminent, I could imagine it", Mattis said.

This is the first time in 41 years the committee is looking specifically at nuclear weapons use.